DISCLAIMER: These characters are the property of Rob Thomas and UPN, and I sincerely hope they remain so for many more seasons to come. This story contains femslash.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: Like a Virgin
Falafel and Fellini
"You do have friends, Veronica." Meg's words were echoing in my memory, as I pondered the TV dinner options staring out from the freezer. She was right, in a way. Wallace. And Meg. Two is enough to justify the plural, but not enough to fill up a Saturday night social calendar left empty by Dad's sudden departure to Minneapolis to apprehend a bail jumper. With Wallace off on some jock bonding retreat for the basketball team, and Meg babysitting until the wee hours of the morning, that pretty much leaves me and either the Hungry Man turkey dinner, or the Stouffers lasagna. There's always Weevil, I guess, but I'm not so much in the mood for a long night of shooting eight ball and glaring down gang leers at the biker bar. Then again, based on that purity test Pam posted, I could always call the Neptune swim team to see if any of them wanted to go for a second round of goofballs and free lovin. Or not. Although maybe a better idea? Good enough to snap the freezer door shut and head to the phone.
Half an hour later, I was bustling into the video store, fully prepared to knock aside any customers in line to call in a favor of one pint-sized video store clerk. Fortunately, the place was mostly empty, and I was able to rush the counter without tasering any patrons. Target locked. "Justin!" I called loudly, to draw him out of the conversation he was carrying on with - "Julia - hey." Nice to see someone's family is back together.
"Hi Veronica," he squeaked. Julia smiled a greeting.
"I need a favor."
"Sure," he was really smiling now. Like I was going to ask him for another mix tape. Down, Veronica. Making friends, remember?
"Blue haired girl. Last name Mackenzie. I need a copy of Repo Man, and whatever kind of movie she likes."
"Wears lots of rock t-shirts?" he clarified.
He nodded while tapping away at his keyboard. "My friends gave her an eight, but I said it should be at least 8.5 because I heard that she hacked into the DMV files to erase two points on her license."
Sometimes, if you can't say anything nice to someone who is helping you, you just have to keep your mouth shut. Whatever, she has blue hair and was swearing like a sailor at that truck of hers. Totally a nine.
"Okay, renting history - lots of foreign films, domestic choices limited to 'Bound', which she has rented nine times, but - lots of Fellini. Amarcord, La Dolce Vita, but not - hang on -"
He moved quickly through the stacks, and returned with Repo Man in hand and
"City of Women!" he said triumphantly. "We just got it back in."
"Thanks," I said, handing over my card and cash while scoping the snack rack. I'd just grabbed an obscenely large box of Buncha Crunch, when Julia cut in.
"Blue hair, you said. Justin, was it the girl who wanted her money back after you recommended Sandra Bullock in 'The Net'?"
I gave him a stern look, and he blushed a little. "That was after I heard about the DMV thing. But yeah, that was her."
"Veronica, just a suggestion, but you might want to rethink the chocolate. I heard her trying to talk her mom out of the buttered popcorn. She's a vegan."
"As in no meat, no dairy, no powdered orange cheese?" Odd. But workable. "Thanks."
One good thing about living in California - natural food buying opportunities on every corner. It wasn't long before I was making my way back up to the apartment bearing the makings for an excellent meat, dairy, and cruelty-free spread. Mental note: may want to keep shirts and coats with faux fur collars out of sight. Making friends, Veronica.
Ten minutes later, there was a knock at the door, and Mac entered, bearing an overnight bag and a brown paper sack of indeterminate contents. "Hey, thanks for coming over on such short notice," I told her. "I hope I didn't interrupt anything."
"Don't worry about it, I was trying to download this radio show that I like, but my little brother was being a pain. I was glad you called, after the whole purity test thing - "
I waved my hand, "Forgotten. It's not like you faked the lowest score ever on my behalf. And you have a snazzy new Beetle to show for your efforts."
Mac was grinning with relief. "Well, I figured I at least owe you ten dollars, since you had to pony up to read your own results. Unless the swimmers were paying you."
I gave her a look. She put the brown bag on the table. "So I brought this."
"Captain Morgan's?" I asked. "How very pirate-pride of you."
"What's all this?" she asked, checking out the snacks I'd thrown together. "Is that falafel?"
I nodded, feigning nonchalance. "And hummus," I pointed out.
"How did you know I was a vegan?" she asked incredulously.
"Okay, granted I was a little slow to figure out that you were behind the purity test site, but remember that under normal circumstances I'm an excellent detective."
By the end of the videos, we had been through four and a half hours of increasingly surreal movies and two thirds of the bottle of rum.
I was stretched out, slightly glassy eyed, on the couch. Mac was still sitting up, with her back propped against the sofa, blue streaks in her hair enhanced by the now blank video screen. My working theory is that I was slightly hypnotized. My steely emotional control, my iron will that could fight back sleepiness and bladder fullness on even the longest stakeout - gone. My hand was moving all on its own.
"Blue." I muttered, as said hand reached out towards aforementioned blue streak. Located in the midst of Mac's hair, which my fingers somewhat awkwardly tangled in. "I like blue."
To her credit, Mac didn't freak. She didn't even laugh. She just turned towards me with a cute little half-smile.
"You should try it," she said. "A nice streak of fire engine red. Or manic panic purple." She reached over and brushed her fingers over a prospective strand of my hair, as if to consider its prospects for color change. Except that her hand, like mine, did not retract immediately. In fact, it started kind of subtly playing with my hair. Gently stroking. It felt very good. Eye lids, however, were getting so heavy
"Veronica," her voice cut through my sleepy almost-dreaming haze. "Veronica Mars."
"Come on, tipsy detective. Help me find the bedroom."
With a tremendous effort, which was not helped by the slightly spinning effect of the floor once I was standing up, we made our way to my room and collapsed on the garage-saled waterbed.
When I woke up the next morning, it was warm in my bed. Not the living in Southern California generally warm, or even the waterbed heating option turned on warm. This was the specifically enjoyable someone sleeping next to me warm. Sometime during the night, whether due to excessive alcohol consumption, a latent desire for human contact, or a not-so-latent desire to be close to a certain female hacker, I had apparently decided that Mac would make an excellent pillow. Which she did. I'd slept so soundly that I'd actually, oh God, drooled on her a little. Nice, Mars. Drooling - not an activity you'll see covered in "How to Make Friends and Influence People".
As stealthily as possible, given that my head felt like it had turned into a bowling ball, I propped myself up on one elbow to survey the damage. Okay, Mac is totally a nine while sleeping. If not a nine and a half. And if I want her to stick around, I should eradicate all traces of drool. To this end, I started brushing my hand frantically over the tiny puddle which, observational skills just now checking in this morning, I suddenly realized was located - oh God, again - on Mac's right breast.
I should also mention that this flash of insight may have occurred when I felt her nipple hardening under my hand.
My first instinct was to freeze. Which I did for about five seconds. Until Mac woke up. At which point I guiltily whipped my hand back to my side, as if I'd just touched a lit Bunsen burner in chem lab.
"Veronica?" she mumbled sleepily.
"I am so sorry." I blurted out. "I was sleeping, and I kind of drooled a little and I was just trying to clean it up and I didn't mean to - I swear I don't usually try to make friends by groping overnight guests, it just - " Okay, I realize that I wasn't really using my A-game dialogue, but I was tired and hung over and feeling hypnotized again, this time by the sight of Mac's now fully erect nipple pressing against the thin cotton of her shirt. Which was seriously giving me that stomach tightening wishing for some privacy feeling that can strike when, for example, you might see Meg flash her red lacey underwear during a cheerleading practice. Or when Lily offers to show you how to shave certain areas in preparation for bathing suit season. Following this particular line of thought was not the best idea. Needless to say, for the first time since moving into our new apartment, I found myself really looking forward to an ice cold shower.
Thankfully, Mac didn't seem to be running for the door or about to file molestation charges or anything. She was, as a matter of fact, staring at me. While I, obliviously, continued staring at her chest.
"And here I was, worried you were going to wake up and whisper 'Duncan' in my ear or something."
Finally tearing my gaze away from her cleavage area, I focused on her eyes, which seemed kind of amused. "Not a problem, actually."
"Be honest, Veronica. You're trying to lower your purity test score to a 13, aren't you?"
Profusely relieved that the whole thing was shaping up to be no big deal, I sank back down next to her. "Can you imagine the purity test where I would actually score a 14? Maybe you should invent the bad ass PI version, where it starts with 'Have you ever staked out a motel past 3am?' and goes on from there."
"Have you ever impressed a girl by jimmying her car?" Mac contributed.
"Do you have more than three fake ids?"
We giggled a lot as our list of questions got crazier. I started to feel better about things. Maybe this making friends thing was going to work out after all.
A few hours, after consuming copious amounts of water and a large carb-filled breakfast, Mac was packing up her stuff and getting ready to leave.
"I can honestly say that this is the most non-sleuthing fun I've had in recent memory." I told her.
"Well, it was also a lot more fun than I usually have away from a keyboard. So the feeling is mutual."
I watched her sling her bag over her shoulder and head for the door. She struggled with the impenetrable series of locks bolting us in, until I went over to help her. A quick series of clicks later, the door swung open. Mac took a few steps forward, and then turned back towards me. I'm not usually much for hugging these days. Dad is corny enough to try sometimes, but aside from that, and the frequent shoulder punches and high fives with Wallace, being touched by others is not so big on my sober-minded list. But as Mac pulled me in, I found myself not minding so much. Or not minding at all, really. And as the hug extended longer than the count of a few Mississippis, I was minding less and less. Especially as her hand was stroking my hair again. And her body was pressed against me in a way that was tightening my stomach again. Wallace is so right, I thought. I am a marshmallow.
Then Mac pulled away, leaving a hand on my shoulder. "Veronica," she said softly, "You don't have to worry about us making friends, okay? We already are friends."
And now I'm a marshmallow on the verge of melting. Between the enjoyable physical contact, and the cute, smart, blue-haired girl saying nice things to me, I feel like I'm about to be dunked in some steaming hot chocolate.
"I know," I told her. "I'm glad."
And as I leaned over the rail to watch her walking down the stairs outside, I felt kind of proud of myself. Making friends, Veronica. And possibly more.
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